Friday, June 21, 2013

LeBron James Leads Heat To NBA Finals Game 7 Win Over Spurs, 2nd Straight Title (VIDEO/PHOTOS)

Dwyane Wade (L), LeBron James (C) and Chris Bosh (R) of the Miami Heat celebrate winning 
Game 7 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena June 20, 2013 in Miami, Florida. 
 
MIAMI -- Victory in Game 7 brought more than another crown for LeBron James and the Miami Heat. It validated the team and its leader, forever cementing their place among the NBA's greats.

For the vanquished San Antonio Spurs, it simply compounded the misery of a championship that got away.

James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense game that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.

Capping their best season in franchise history – and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it – the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA's first championship series to go the distance since 2010.

Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months.

"I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason," said James, who was MVP for the second straight finals. "I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I'm at a loss for words."

He made five 3-pointers, defended Tony Parker when he had to, and did everything else that could ever be expected from the best player in the game.

The Heat became the NBA's first repeat champions since the Lakers in 2009-10, and the first team to beat the Spurs in the NBA Finals.
 
"It took everything we had as a team," Dwyane Wade said. "Credit to the San Antonio Spurs, they're an unbelievable team, an unbelievable franchise. This is the hardest series we ever had to play. But we're a resilient team and we did whatever it took."

Players and coaches hugged afterward – their respect for each other was obvious from the opening tipoff of Game 1 through the final buzzer.

A whisker away from a fifth title two nights earlier, the Spurs couldn't find a way to win it all in what was perhaps the last shot for Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili to grab another ring together.

"In my case I still have Game 6 in my head," Ginobili said. "Today we played an OK game, they just made more shots than us. LeBron got hot. Shane (Battier), too. Those things can happen. But being so close and feeling that you are about to grab that trophy, and seeing it vanish is very hard."

They were trying to become the first team to win a Game 7 on the road since Washington beat Seattle in 1978, but those old guys ran out of gas just before the finish.

Fans stood, clapped and danced as the clock ticked down, when every score was answered by another score, each stop followed by a better stop. The Heat pushed their lead to six points a few times midway through the fourth but San Antonio kept coming back.

Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, but missed a shot and follow attempt right under the basket with about 50 seconds left and the Spurs trailing by two.
 
James followed with a jumper – the shot the Spurs were daring him to take earlier in the series – to make it 92-88, sending San Antonio to a timeout as Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On" blared over the arena's sound system.

He then came up with a steal and made two free throws for a six-point lead, and after Ginobili missed, James stalked toward the sideline, knowing it was over and that he was, once again, the last one standing.
Wade had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who overcame a scoreless Chris Bosh by getting six 3-pointers and 18 points from Shane Battier.

"It was a great series and we all felt that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I don't know if `enjoy' is the right word, but in all honesty, even in defeat, I'm starting to enjoy what our group accomplished already, when you look back. And you need to do that, to put in perspective. So it's no fun to lose, but we lost to a better team. And you can live with that as long as you've given your best, and I think we have."

Streamers fell from the arena ceiling onto the fans for the second year in a row, but this one meant so much more. A narrow escape in Game 6 was still fresh in everyone's mind.

They were down 10 in the fourth quarter of that one before James led the charge back, finishing with a triple-double in Miami's 103-100 overtime victory. This one was nearly as tight, neither team leading by more than seven and the game tied 11 times.
 
Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, who had been 4 for 4 in the championship round. Ginobili had 18 points but Parker managed just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"Just give credit to the Miami Heat. LeBron was unbelievable. Dwyane was great. I just think they found a way to get it done," Duncan said. "We stayed in the game. We gave ourselves opportunities to win the game, we just couldn't turn that corner."

The Heat and coach Erik Spoelstra collected the Larry O'Brien trophy again from Commissioner David Stern, presiding over his final NBA Finals before retiring next February.
He couldn't have asked for a better way to go out.

James avenged his first finals loss, when his Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the Spurs on 2007. That helped send James on his way to South Florida, realizing it would take more help to win titles that could never come alone.

He said he would appreciate this one more because of how tough it was. The Heat overpowered Oklahoma City in five games last year, a team of 20-something kids who weren't ready to be champions yet.

This came against a respected group of Spurs whose trio has combined for more than 100 playoff victories together and wanted one more in case this was San Antonio's last rodeo.

Duncan is 37 and Ginobili will be a 36-year-old free agent next month, the core of a franchise whose best days may be behind them.
 
Meanwhile, it's a potential dynasty along Biscayne Bay, but also one with a potentially small window. Wade's latest knee problems are a reminder that though he came into the NBA at the same time as James and Bosh, he's a couple of years older at 31 with wheels that have seen some miles.

James can become a free agent again next summer with another decision – though hopefully not another Decision – to make. He's comfortable in Miami and close with Wade, and the Heat have the leadership and commitment from owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley to keep building a championship core around him.

Why would he want to leave?

San Antonio's most recent title came at James' expense. The Spurs exploited the weaknesses in James' game though knew someday they would be gone, Duncan telling him afterward that the league would someday belong to James.

And James simply isn't giving it back.

He came in averaging 33.8 points in Game 7s, already the best in NBA history, and was even better in this one.

He can't be defended the way he was six years ago, too strong inside and too solid from the outside. He drove Danny Green back like a tackling dummy to convert a three-point play in the second quarter, then knocked down a 3-pointer for the Heat's next score.
 
Heat fans, criticized over the last two days after many bolted before the finish Tuesday and then tried to force their way back in, weren't going anywhere early in this one. The game was too good.
And there was another celebration to watch.

The Heat had the classic championship hangover through the first few months of this season, too strong to lose at home but not committed enough to win on the road, where they were just 11-11 following a 102-89 loss in Indiana on Feb. 1.

They won in Toronto two nights later on Super Bowl Sunday and didn't lose again until well into March Madness, running off 27 straight victories before falling in Chicago on March 27 and finishing a franchise-best 66-16.

The small-market Spurs have always been a ratings killer, but interest grew throughout this series in their attempt to toppled the champs. Game 6 drew more than 20 million viewers, a total that Game 7 was expected to top.

And the games got better, too. Games 2-5 were all decided by double digits, neither team able to carry its momentum from one game to the next.

This one was back and forth for more than three quarters, with Mario Chalmers' 3-pointer at the buzzer giving Miami a 72-71 lead heading to the final 12 minutes of the season.
 
Game 6 could have shaken the Spurs, who were so close to holding the trophy that officials were preparing the championship presentation before Miami's rally. The Spurs held a team dinner late that night, figuring the company was better than having to dwell on the defeat alone in their rooms.

The pain of that game or the pressure of this one had little effect on their veterans but brought out a change in their leader, the subject of some rare second-guessing for his rotations near the end of the collapse.

The famously blunt Popovich was in a chatty mood pregame, actually preferring to stay and talk even when there were no more questions, saying the busier he was, the less he'd worry.

"It's torture," he said earlier of Game 7s. "It's hard to appreciate or enjoy torture."

But it sure was beautiful to watch.

The sport's most pressure-packed game had a nervous start, each team making just seven baskets in the first quarter and combining for seven turnovers. The Spurs took an early seven-point lead, but a pair of 3-pointers by Battier during an 8-0 run helped Miami take an 18-16 lead.

The Heat nursed a narrow lead for most of the second quarter, and after San Antonio went ahead in the final minute of the period, James tipped in a miss before Wade knocked down a jumper with 0.8 seconds left to send the Heat to the locker room with a 46-44 edge.

Notes: Home teams are 15-3 in Game 7s of the NBA Finals. ... Miami improved to 5-3 all-time in Game 7s in the postseason and became the fourth team to win the final two games at home since the finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, joining the Lakers in 1988 and 2010, and Houston Rockets in 1994. ... Green was just 1 for 12, going 1 for 6 behind the arc. He started the series by making 25 3s in the first five games, a finals record for an entire series.

Jay-Z's Samsung Album Sales Won't Count

NEW YORK -- Jay-Z's got 99 problems and the Billboard chart is one.

Billboard said Friday it will not include the 1 million album downloads Jay-Z is giving to Galaxy mobile phone users through a deal with Samsung. Jay-Z announced the partnership this week. His new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," will be released July 7, but it will go out to 1 million Samsung users on July 4.

In a letter posted on Billboard's website, editorial director Bill Werde says it won't count the downloads because Samsung ultimately isn't selling the album on its phones. He adds that it wasn't easy turning down Jay-Z's request to include the downloads on the Billboard chart.

Werde writes: "The passionate and articulate argument by Jay's team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it ... doesn't mesh with precedent."

TV Ratings: NBA Finals Surge to Near Record With Game 7 Win for Miami

UPDATED: ABC's coverage of the basketball championship delivers its second best overnights for a NBA game ever -- while NBC's even "Hannibal" ends freshman season on a low note.

Miami Heat with Trophies - H 2013
Getty Images
The last game of the 2013 NBA Finals made up for dips earlier in the series. Overnight returns for the Miami Heat's game 7 championship win over the Chicago Blackhawks place it is as the second-highest-rated NBA game to ever air on ABC. The game delivered a 17.7 overnight rating, according to Nielsen, with the telecast peaking near the game's conclusion with a 22.6 rating. The game earned an initial 8.7 rating with adults 18-49, which will move up in final returns. 

Early entries in the series had been coming in shy of 2012, but the tight race between both teams ultimately brought the finals all the way to game 7. Last year, the highest-rated in 8 years, ended in game 5 with a 12.5 overnight rating. Final ratings and total viewership with time zone adjustments taken into account won't be available until later Friday.

Elsewhere on ABC, initial returns give Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night a 3.2 rating adults 18-49 and the pre-game show a 4.5 rating. 

More to come...


EXCLUSIVE Drake Gets Rejected, Denied Access To Miami Heat Celebration {VIDEO}

Young Money's Drake may be good friends with NBA Finals MVP LeBron James but that didn't matter last night as footage of him being denied access to the Miami Heat's post-Game 7 championship celebration has surfaced.
 
Rapper Drake is a close friend of both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He tried to get to the locker room Thursday to celebrate the Heat's back-to-back championships with they dynamic duo but was rejected. You hope that poor security guard doesn't wind up getting fired. He doesn't know who the guy is, and he doesn't have a badge. I can tell you security was extra tight for Game 7 Thursday night so it's no surprise that even in the maelstrom following the Heat's victory that someone without a pass was denied. I guess he started from the bottom and still couldn't get to the level where he can get past security. Or, if you prefer, ahem.... Last name denied, first name access... (CBS Sports)
Despite the arena incident, Drizzy eventually teamed up with King James at a nearby club.
After the Miami Heat won their second-straight NBA title last night, they retreated to Club Story for the traditional celebration party. At last year's party, LeBron James wore a shirt with a picture of himself as a vampire on it, and sang on stage alongside Redfoo from LMFAO. This year, perhaps because he was so spent from a grueling seven-game NBA Finals series, he was a bit more passive. He appeared on stage at Story with Dwyane Wade and R&B artist Drake. At one point, they ordered pizza to the stage, and LeBron ate pizza and danced a little bit while Drake took the mic next to him. (Business Insider)
Thanks to LeBron, the Miami Heat were able to defeat the San Antonio Spurs in a dramatic Game 7.
Coming Soon
LeBron James and the Miami Heat remain atop the NBA, and not even a proud push from the San Antonio Spurs could knock them down. James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense Game 7 that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute. Winning the title they needed to validate their best season in franchise history -- and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it -- the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA's first championship series to go the distance since 2010. (Fox News)
Following the win, King James credited his pre-game routines and study of the Spurs for helping his on-court performance.
"I watched film, and my mind started to work," James said. "I said, 'OK, this is how they're going to play me for the whole series.' I looked at all my regular-season stats, and I was one of the best midrange shooters in the game. I shot a career high from the three-point line. "I just told myself, 'Don't abandon what you've done all year. Don't abandon now because they're going under (screens). Don't force the paint. If it's there, take it. If not, take the jumper. "The repetition, the practices, the off-season training, no matter how big the stakes are, no matter what's on the line, just go with it. And I was able to do that." (USA Today)


Paula Deen’s Deposition Makes the Situation Worse

By//Andrea Watson


http://jetmag.com/entertainment/gossip/paula-deens-deposition-makes-the-situation-worse/
Paula Deen is receiving a lot of  “Did she really?” questions, and general disgust due to the allegations that surfaced that she wanted black servers to dress as slaves for a wedding party she planned for her brother. Now that all the jokes have died (see #paulasbestdishes) a full court transcript is revealing just how bad it really is, confirming that the celeb chef did admit to saying racist things.
Here’s a snippet from CocoaFab:

Mr. Billips: Miss Deen, have you told racial jokes?
Paula Deen: No, not racial.

Okay. Have you ever used the N-word yourself?
Yes, of course.

Okay. In what context?
Well, it was probably when a Black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.

Okay. And what did you say?
Well, I don’t remember, but the gun was dancing all around my temple.

Okay.
I didn’t — I didn’t feel real favorable towards him.

Okay. Well, did you use the N-word to him as he pointed a gun in your head at your face?
Absolutely not.

Well, then, when did you use it?
Probably in telling my husband.

Okay. Have you used it since then?
I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.

Can you remember the context in which you have used the N-word?
No.
Had it occurred with sufficient frequency that you cannot recall all of the various context in which you’ve used it?
No, no.
Well, then, tell me the other context in which you’ve used the N-word?
I don’t know, maybe in repeating something that was said to me.

Like a joke?
No, probably a conversation between Blacks. I don’t — I don’t know.

Okay.
But that’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior.

Okay.
As well as I do.

Okay. So was Lisa ever present when you discussed with Brandon what kind of wedding you’d like to have?
I don’t recall that. I recall — I do recall, once again, in my bathroom at that house, and why we would have been in the bathroom, I was probably filming and changing clothes, that’s the only reason why we would have been in that bathroom, they must have run out during my lunch break or something from filming, and I remember us talking about the meal. And I remember telling them about a restaurant that my husband and I had recently visited. And I’m wanting to think it was in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere, and it was so impressive. The whole entire wait staff was middle-aged Black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie. I mean, it was really impressive. And I remember saying I would love to have servers like that, I said, but I would be afraid somebody would misinterpret.

The media might misinterpret it?
Yes, or whomever –

Okay.
— is so shallow that they would read something into it.
No, they were dressed in white jackets.

White jackets?
Dinner jackets.

And a bow tie?
And a bow tie and black trousers, and they were incredible.

Okay. And you said something –
These were men that had made their living off of service and people in a restaurant.

Right.
It was – I was so impressed.

Okay. And they were all black men?
Yes. Professional servers and waiters.

And when you described it to Miss Jackson, did you mention the race of – well, you had to have mentioned the race of the servers –
Of course I would –

—because that’s the part that –
—because that’s what we just experienced.

Right. Do you know what word you used to identify their race?
I would have used just what I just told you.

Black or African-American?
Black. I would use the word black.

Okay.
I don’t usually use African-Americans.

Okay.
I try to go with whatever the black race is wanting to call themselves at each given time. I try to go along with that and remember that.

Okay. And could you give me an example of how you have demonstrated for them a nice way to use the N-word?
[Objection]

Or a non-mean way?
[Objection]
We hear a lot of things in the kitchen. Things that they — that black people will say to each other. If we are relaying something that was said, a problem that we’re discussing, that’s not said in a mean way.

What about jokes, if somebody is telling a joke that’s got —
It’s just what they are, they’re jokes.

Okay. Would you consider those to be using the N word in a mean way?
[Objection]
That’s — that’s kind of hard. Most — most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. Most jokes target — I don’t know. I didn’t make up the joke, I don’t know. I can’t — I don’t know.

Okay.
They usually target, though, a group. Gays or straights, Black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know — I just don’t know what to say. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.

Okay, well —
I can feel out that person pretty good on what would offend them, but I’m not sure…what — what the question even means.

Well, if you were sitting around at home just with you and your family, would you feel any hesitation in telling a joke that you thought was funny if it had the N-word in it?
I don’t tell jokes, not at my house. That’s —

Do the other members of your family tell jokes at home?
Yes.

Okay.
Yes.
And they told jokes using the N-word?
I’m sure they have. My husband is constantly telling me jokes.

Okay. And have — are you offended at all by those jokes?
No, because it’s my husband.

Okay. What about your brother, does he tell those jokes?
I’m sure he has. Bubba’s not good at joke telling, but I’m sure he’s tried to repeat some.

Okay. He just does it badly?
Yeah, he don’t — he doesn’t tell ‘em good.

Okay.
Barry Weiner will ruin a funny joke. You know, some people can tell jokes in a funny way and some can’t.

Okay. And would you consider telling jokes, racial jokes, to be an example of using the N-word in a way that’s not mean?
Not for me personally. It would not —

It wouldn’t be mean for you personally?
No, it’s wouldn’t — I wouldn’t tell it.

Okay.
I mean, that’s — that’s not my style of joke.

Okay. Your style of joke generally has some sexual component to it; is that fair?
Yeah, lots of times.

Okay.
I poke fun at myself and other women.

Now, do you have, in your own mind, kind of a working definition of what sexual harassment in the workplace would mean?
I think I do.

Okay. Tell me what your definition of sexual harassment would be.
I would think coming on to a person. I would think holding one back because of their sex.
You mean holding them back in their job?
Yeah.

Okay.
Oh, no, that — that would be discrimination. But I would think just coming on to someone or — I don’t know.

Okay.
I’ve never experienced it in y business. I’ve never been the recipient or the giver of it, so I just think I know in my head.

Okay.
I think I would recognize it if I saw it.

What about racial harassment?
We don’t tolerate that.

Okay. Well, what is it in your mind?
I would think that — racial discrimination, was that the question?

Harassment.
Harassment. I would think that that would be picking out a certain race and never cutting them any slack. I don’t know, verbally abusing them, maybe, I’m not sure.

Okay. Using racial slurs in a workplace, would you —
To them. If you were doing it against a Jewish person and constantly talking about — bad mouthing Jews or lesbians or homosexuals or Mexicans or blacks, if you continually beat up on a certain group, I would think that that would be some kind of harassment.

Okay.
I don’t know. We don’t — we don’t do that, I don’t know.

Read the rest here.
http://jetmag.com/entertainment/gossip/paula-deens-deposition-makes-the-situation-worse/ 

Waka Flocka I'm Producing Amanda Bynes' Rap Album 'She's Gonna Kill the Game'

Forget Wyclef Jean ... Amanda Bynes is hashing out a record deal with rapper Waka Flocka Flame for her upcoming hip hop album -- and Waka tells TMZ, it's going to be legendary.

Waka -- who runs Brick Squad Monopoly records -- tells us, the deal hasn't been signed yet but it's basically in the bag ... in fact, he's already hired people to start penning Amanda's songs.

Waka says he and Amanda FaceTime at least once a week and text every day -- mostly about her rap career ... but also about motivational stuff, like "keeping her head up from the haters."

Waka tells us the album will be called "Shots" -- adding, "It's going to be crazy hot." So far, there's no projected release date.

As for whether Waka thinks there's something a little off about Amanda ... he said, "Not at all. She has it all together to me. She is cool as hell and ready for the rap world. I think she is going to kill the game."

And just to make sure it's a success ... Waka says he'll be featured on several of Amanda's songs as well.

Waka's good ... but is he THAT good?

North West: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West's Baby Name Revealed

The couple named their daughter North West.
 
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are certainly in for a new life direction with the birth of their first child -- and that direction seems to be North West

According to reports from TMZ Kanye West and girlfriend Kim Kardashian have finally decided upon a name for their little bundle of joy, the pair have named their baby girl North. Though rumors of the directional name surfaced in March, they were swiftly denied by Kardashian. 

An inside source confirmed the baby name news to People while TMZ got a hold of the newborn's Cedars-Sinai hospital birth certificate, which allegedly bears the name North West

Still no confirmation from the happy couple. 

 It's not the first time that name has been tossed around in the media. Kardashian mentioned on the Tonight Show several weeks ago that she liked the name Easton. It appears she had a change of heart. No other details about the baby were released. Sources say Kardashian and baby have checked out of the hospital and are currently home.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beyonce Settles $100M Lawsuit With Video Game Company

Beyonce 'Chime for Change' concert
Beyonce 'Chime for Change' concert Getty
Beyonce has wiggled out of a lawsuit brought by a video game company that sued the musician for allegedly backing away from a deal to create a motion-sensing dance game.

Gate Five filed the lawsuit in New York court in April 2011, claiming that the superstar had acted on "a whim" the previous Christmas with an "extortionate demand" for more compensation for Starpower: Beyonce. The demands drove away a financier and caused Gate Five to lay off 70 people
during the holidays, said the lawsuit.

After saying it spent $6.7 million to develop the project, Gate Five looked to recover the $100 million in estimated profit the game was projected to make. But after a grueling court battle that never got to trial, the two sides have found a way to resolve their differences.

Beyonce's argument in the case was that she had a valid contractual right to exercise termination provisions after Gate Five was unable to fulfill obligations to obtain $5 million of committed financing for the project.
In opposition, Gate Five contended that it was on the verge of closing a $19.2 million financing contract before Beyonce got antsy.

In late 2011, a New York Superior judge denied Beyonce's motion to dismiss, and a state appeals court later affirmed the ruling on the basis that Beyonce hadn't objected to the loan at the time, the unresolved question of whether the non-finalized financing agreements constituted "committed financing" under the contract and the possibility that the singer's own actions contributed to the collapse of financing.
In recent months before the case was settled, the dispute went deeper.

Gate Five looked to investigate whether Beyonce had dropped Gate Five in the interest of scoring a better deal with a competitor. The company sought all sorts of documents including a possible audit conducted by Beyonce's law firm on the management company run by her father. Beyonce's attorneys called it a "fishing expedition" and a breach of attorney-client privilege.

There won't be any trial. Last week, the parties submitted papers in court that discontinue the claims. An attorney for Gate Five couldn't be reached but has been quoted as saying that the lawsuit was settled amicably on confidential terms.

Jay-Z Can Now Recruit Any NBA Player He Wants, Hovi Receives Good News

Rap mogul Jay-Z can finally kick his feet up as reports claim he is now a licensed NBA agent and able to target any professional athlete he wants.
And yesterday, the Sports Business Journal revealed that he won't have to do it through Creative Artists Agency, the sports agency that Roc Nation partnered up with back in April. That's because, as of this week, Jay-Z is officially licensed to be an NBA agent. So he will be able to sign new clients and negotiate on their behalf moving forward. All of that being said, it's still a little unclear how soon Jay-Z will actually sign his first client (who, by the way, is widely rumored to be Kevin Durant). A source who spoke with ESPN.com yesterday revealed that Jay is still holding onto a small stake in the Brooklyn Nets, which means that he cannot serve as an NBA agent just yet due to an NBA rule that says team owners cannot be agents. But as soon as he unloads his stake in the Nets, he'll be free to start signing players immediately. (Complex)
Earlier this month, buzz about Jay possibly signing NBA superstar Kevin Durant to his growing team surfaced.
Kevin Durant could be moving on to the next one...agent that is. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is leaving Landmark Sports and could join Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, according to SportsBusiness Journal's Liz Mullen. Mullen also tweeted a brief comment from Landmark Sports president, NBA agent Rob Pelinka, who said, "We are honored & blessed to have worked on behalf of Kevin for a brief period of time." Roc Nation did not comment on the possibility of signing Durant. Jay-Z still owns shares of the Brooklyn Nets, which would prohibit him from representing Durant as an agent. (New York Daily News)
A league source recently offered a take on why KD may want to link with Hovi.
In the new age of brand marketing and social media, teaming up with a pop culture icon is one of the best ways for an athlete to increase his or her public image. "KD doesn't want a traditional NBA agent anymore," a league source told Yahoo! Sports. "He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. ...He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn't say no." (Sporting News)
Back in April, Jay issued an official statement about relinquishing his ownership in the Brooklyn Nets.
"Being a member of the Nets organization surpassed some of my greatest ambitions. It was never about an investment; it was about the NETS and Brooklyn. My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun. I'm a Brooklyn Net forever. It's been an honor to work with Mikhail Prokhorov, Dmitry Razumov, Christophe Charlier, ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment, Brett Yormark and all the wonderful people involved in making the Nets first class. My sincerest thanks goes to Bruce Ratner, who first introduced the idea of moving the Nets to Brooklyn. A thank you and deepest appreciation goes to the fans. You are the lifeblood of any team." (Life + Times)

P. Diddy’s Revolt TV Partners with Time Warner

Revolt TV, the new cable network from Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, has joined together with Time Warner Cable for distribution. The network, which already has an agreement with Comcast, will launch this fall.

 
The programming on Diddy’s network will include live performances, music videos, news and interviews in addition to original talk shows and series. Aiming to represent popular culture, Revolt TV is committed to both artists and fans and will provide a multimedia platform with extensive integration of social media. The network’s agreement with two of the largest cable carriers in the US is historic for the hip-hop community.

“I am excited about Revolt,” said Andre Harrell, Vice Chairman of Combs Enterprises. “For the first time there is a music channel with a real music man at the helm, and I know that Revolt would have “Blurred Lines”by Robin Thicke and “I’m a God” by Kanye West in full rotation…and that’s exciting.”

Live Nation Acquires Majority Stake in Baltics Region Promoter BDG Music

Live Nation Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in BDG Music Group, the Baltic region's largest concert promotion company, according to Live Nation. The group will retain its current management team, although upon completion of the deal, it will be renamed Live Nation Baltics. 

Full terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Since early 2012, BDG Music has produced more than 50 shows in the Baltics and sold more than 200,000 tickets. Live Nation Baltics is slated to produce major concerts, including shows by Robbie Williams and Depeche Mode, among others.

"With this acquisition we now have operations in 43 countries,” Michael Rapino, Live Nation Entertainment president and CEO said in a statement. “This further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to expanding our global footprint, which enables us to bring live entertainment to even more fans around the world."

"BDG has more than 18 years' experience in the business of creating unique shows and events for the public and providing superior entertainment-related services,”said Peeter Rebane, stated BDG Music co-founder.“Being part of the world's leading entertainment company will create even better opportunities for local music fans to see world class concerts in future."

Live Nation’s chairman of International Music Thomas Johansson noted in the same release that, “BDG's extensive network in Estonia and Lithuania will strengthen our position in Eastern and Central Europe and will offer our artists a full run around the Baltic Sea."

Soulja Boy Tell Em's $60K Debt Woes Exposed, Legal Action On Deck

Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy Tell Em may need to find a suit and tie for a court appearance if he does not handle an outstanding jewelry debt soon.
 
A Buckhead jeweler is suing Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy for more than $60,000, claiming the singer has refused to pay an outstanding debt. Icebox Custom Jewelry filed the suit this week in Fulton County State Court. Soulja Boy, whose real name is DeAndre Way, and his company, Soulja Boy Tellem Music Inc., are named in the suit, which seeks repayment of the debt plus interest and other damages. Efforts were being made to reach Soulja Boy for comment. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The company claims Soulja Boy's debt dates back to October 2011.
Icebox, which is on Peachtree Street a few blocks from Lenox Square mall, said Soulja Boy purchased several pieces of jewelry for $45,144 in October 2011 and later that same year bought more jewelry and requested several repairs at a total cost of $15,726. When contacted Wednesday, a store manager said the rapper had purchased jewelry from Icebox previously. On its website, the family-owned company said it has "large dealings in hip-hop jewelry." Icebox said it has made numerous attempts to get the rapper behind the 2007 hit single "Crank That" to pay off the debt. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
While known for buying his own customized jewelry, Soulja heated up the Internet back in 2010 after flaunting one of fellow rapper Yung Berg's chains.
@SouljaBoyTellEm flaunts his new jewelry which formerly belonged to rapper Yung Berg. Berg was assaulted back in August 2008 and his boisterous chain has been in the hands of others since. Sources say DeAndre purchased the chain from a twitter account holder. Ironically that chain has gone further than his carer ever has. (DDotomen)
The debt woes news comes weeks after he released a new mixtape called Cuban Link.
Hip hop entrepreneur Soulja Boy has blessed fans on this paid national holiday by releasing a free five-song EP entitled, Cuban Link. The release arrives just over a week after his King Soulja mixtape debuted, and it features five new tracks never-before-released anywhere else. You can stream and download the EP. Soulja Boy will probably release another dozen mixtapes before the year is out. Stay tuned for additional updates. (Under the Gun Review)

Twitter Drags Paula Deen For Racism

Folks are turning celeb chef Paula Deen’s racist comments into an interesting but slightly offensive Twitter hashtag trend—#PaulasBestDishes—after reports of her admitting to using racist epithets surfaced.


“It’s just what they are — they’re jokes. Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, Black folks. I can’t determine what offends another person,” said Deen according to the National Enquirer. As a result of her perceived ignorance Twitter let her have it Here are a few of the wild tweets we rounded up.

Celebrity cook Paula Deen said while being questioned in a discrimination lawsuit that she has used racial slurs in the past but insisted she and her family do not tolerate prejudice.

The 66-year-old Food Network star and Savannah restaurant owner was peppered with questions about her racial attitudes in a May 17 deposition by a lawyer for Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House. Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, own the restaurant. Jackson sued them last year, saying she was sexually harassed and worked in a hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

According to a transcript of the deposition, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, an attorney for Jackson asked Deen if she has ever used the N-word.

Coming Soon!
"Yes, of course," Deen replied, though she added: "It's been a very long time."
 
Asked to give an example, Deen recalled the time she worked as a bank teller in southwest Georgia in the 1980s and was held at gunpoint by a robber. The gunman was a black man, Deen told the attorney, and she thought she used the slur when talking about him after the holdup. "Probably in telling my husband," she said.

Deen said she may have also used the slur when recalling conversations between black employees at her restaurants, but she couldn't recall specifics.

"But that's just not a word that we use as time has gone on," Deen said. "Things have changed since the '60s in the South. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do."

William Franklin, Deen's attorney, said the celebrity was looking forward to her day in court.
"Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable," he said in a statement.

Attorneys for Jackson did not immediately return phone calls Wednesday seeking comment.
Plenty of people were already judging Deen on social media sites Wednesday. One of the top trending topics on Twitter was #PaulasBestDishes, the name of her Food Network show.

Tweets used the tag along with satirical names for recipes such as "Massa-Roni and Cheese," ''Lettuce From a Birmingham Jail," and "Key Lynch Pie."

Station spokeswoman Julie Halpin said in a statement: "The Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to monitor the situation."

The civil suit was filed in March 2012 in Chatham County Superior Court and was transferred to federal court a few months later. Deen and Hiers have both denied the allegations made by Jackson, who is white.

"Bubba and I, neither one of us, care what the color of your skin is" or what gender a person is, Deen said in her deposition. "It's what's in your heart and in your head that matters to us."

Known for her sometimes ribald sense of humor as well as her high-calorie Southern recipes, Deen acknowledged in her deposition to sometimes telling jokes. She seemed to struggle when asked if she considered jokes using the N-word to be "mean."

"That's kind of hard," Deen said. "Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks. ... They usually target, though, a group. Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don't know — I just don't know what to say. I can't, myself, determine what offends another person."
Jackson's attorney, Matthew Billips, also pressed Deen to explain whether she had once suggested that all black waiters be hired for her brother's 2007 wedding.

Deen said she once mentioned the idea to her personal assistant and Jackson but immediately dismissed it. Deen said she had been inspired by an upscale Southern restaurant she and her husband had visited in another state.

"The whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie. I mean, it was really impressive," Deen said. "And I remember saying I would love to have servers like that, I said, but I would be afraid that someone would misinterpret (it)."

Asked if she used the N-word to describe those waiters, Deen replied: "No, because that's not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job."

Meek Mill's Artist Lil Snupe Reportedly Shot Dead

Maybach Music Group rapper Meek Mill has reportedly lost an artist and friend in teenage emcee Lil Snupe as reports claim he died from fatal gunfire early Thursday (June 20).
 
Meek Mill's Dreamchasers artist, 17-year-old Lil Snupe, was reportedly found dead. Lil Snupe signed to Meek Mill's Dreamchasers imprint earlier this year, and now we have sad news to report about the rising young rapper. Lil Snupe, 17 years old, was reportedly shot dead, news which has been confirmed by his manager, Leem7st, on Twitter. Meek Mill also tweeted about Snupe early this morning, obviously in disbelief. There are very few details available at the moment, but we'll keep you informed once more news on Snupe's death surfaces. (Hot New Hip Hop)
Early Thursday, Meek hopped onto his Twitter page telling followers to have Snupe contact him immediately.
"tell lil snupe hit me up right now!!!," he tweeted June 20th. (Meek Mill's Twitter)
The late rapper reportedly won Meek's attention from a demo tape and ultimately joined Mill's camp shortly after.
COMING SOON
Snupe impressed Meek Mill by passing off his demo to him during a tour stop in Louisiana. In less than an hour, Meek gave him a call and signed the young upstart to his Dream Chasers roster. "He was in a van, they was finna pull off. And I went and knocked on the van, on the window. They let the window down, grabbed the mixtape and it was like 10 minutes later, 20 minutes later they called me," Snupe told MTV News in April. Lil Snupe joined Lee Mazin, Louie V Gutta, Goldie, Jahlil Beats as a flagship artist for Meek's record label. His recently released mixtape was R.N.I.C. (Real Ni**a in Charge). (XXL Mag)
Story developing...